Rotten vegetables are often taken as useless resources – but not to Carvey Ehren Maigue. This 27-year old, Electrical Engineering Student from Mapua University recently bagged the first-ever Global Sustainability Prize during the James Dyson Award last November 19. He bested all other 1,800 entries with his invention: The AuREUS System.
Carvey Ehren Maigue and his AuREUS System
Aurora Renewable Energy & UV Sequestration (AuREUS) System is the newly-invented material by Carvey Ehren Maigue. This material can upcycle crop wastes – such as fruits and vegetables – to absorb UV lights from the sun and convert it to electricity.
Compared to the typical solar panels, this has the ability to capture ultraviolet light even if the sun is hidden behind the clouds or when it’s raining. The most important component he looked through for his invention is the use of waste produce – where he derived the organic luminescent compounds that can turn high energy ultraviolet waves into visible light.
Maigue shared that he focused on solar energy because it is something that is always available to people. While he took inspiration from the auroras and polar lights, his love for Science was rooted in his teacher who encouraged him to become like those engineers doing calculations on the film that they have watched in the laboratory. With his passion for physics and sciences, it fueled him to translate ideas into real products through engineering.
How sustainable is the AuREUS system?
Such a unique idea made the AuREUS system to be personally handpicked by inventor James Dyson himself and brought Maigue his recognition. Along with that, he also received £30,000 as part of his prize.
James Dyson was very much impressed with Maigue’s resolution to those wasted crops, as well as his determination. He demonstrated a very convincing way to create clean energy on existing structures, like the windows within the cities, to help solve the perennial problem of the agriculture sector.
The primary aim of AuREUS is to generate electricity from natural resources that grow abundantly in the country. This also a bold move to help those farmers who are hit by natural disasters, like typhoons, which often happens in the Philippines because the country is situated near the Pacific Ocean and as an effect as well of climate change. With this project, not only the future generations can benefit, but as well as the present.
After seeing the success of this project, Maigue now plans to bring the product to the market – and also continue doing more research and developments on the AuREUS system. He wanted to create threads and fabrics that would allow clothes to harvest ultraviolet light and convert it into electricity. Not only that, he’s also looking forward to creating curved plates that electric cars, airplanes, and even boats can use. He dreams that just as how smartphones are made accessible to people, so should the harvest of solar energy.